Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

delicious by ruth reichl image copyI picked up Delicious! by Ruth Reichl because I loved her Garlic and Sapphires book. Garlic and Sapphires is a very entertaining account of her work as a restaurant food critic for The New York Times. Delicious! is her first work of fiction.

In Delicious!, Ruth Reichl very artfully blends the past, the present, and the future in a moving story of a young woman, Billie Breslin, who moves and adjusts to life in New York City. Billie is hired by an upscale food magazine and finds family in an Italian deli where she works part-time on weekends. The vivid descriptions of tastes and scents enrich the story and made me feel like I was right there with the characters.

I read it as Russia moved to invade Ukraine, so I really connected with the mothers’ fear and mood as their men enlisted for World War II in the scenes from the past. I thought the story had a melancholic undertone, but I loved the relationship Billie had with her family – both her families.

I’m glad I bought it – I can read it again and try the Delicious!– sounding recipe for Billie’s Gingerbread!